|Real name||Morris East|
|Rated at||Light welterweight|
August 8, 1973 |
|Wins by KO||12|
As a teenager, East moved to Cebu City and was spotted by Lito Cortes who brought him to the Cebu Coliseum gym. Promoter Sammy Gello-ani then offered him amateur fights to keep him earning for his meals.
East turned professional in 1989 and won the WBA light welterweight title by defeating Akinobu Hiranaka with an 11th round TKO victory in Tokyo on 9 September 1992. With the victory, East became the youngest ever Filipino to hold a world championship in boxing at the age of 19 years and 31 days old. He is also the second youngest boxer to win a world title at 140 lbs., second to Puerto Rico's Wilfred Benitez won the WBC jr. welterweight title when he was 17 years old. The victory over Hiranaka was named Ring Magazine Knockout of the Year for 1989. He lost the title in his first defense against Juan Martin Coggi, who knocked him out in the 8th round. He never fought for a major title again and retired in 1995.
Born of a Filipina and black American U.S. Navy sailor, East didn't meet his father until he became champion. He traveled from the Philippines to the United States a month after winning his WBA belt to locate his father, Morris East, Sr. With the help of a CNN news team, the father was located in Oakland, California and their first meeting was broadcast by CNN. Morris, Jr. improved his father's living condition but his father, suffering from bad health, died of a massive heart attack a few months later.
East moved to San Diego, California in 1996 and later moved to Las Vegas, where he works as a fight trainer in the Johnny Tocco gym. In 2011, he worked with IBF lightwelterweight titleholder Zab Judah and WBC/WBO bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire. East also worked with Eddie Mustafa Muhammad.
|WBA Light Welterweight Champion
July 9, 1989 – April 4, 1993
Juan Martin Coggi